New England Patriots: Opening Night, 2005

New England Patriots: Opening Night, 2005

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Super Bowl XXXIX was the 39th championship game of the modern National Football League (NFL). The game was played on February 6, 2005, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, following the 2004 regular season.

The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots (17-2) defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles (15-4), 24–21, and became the first team since the 1997–98 Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls.

New England also became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win three Super Bowls in four years. This was the Patriots’ third straight Super Bowl victory in which they won by a margin of three points. They defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20–17, and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32–29. Each of these margins was because of an Adam Vinatieri field goal, two of which (against the Rams and the Panthers) happened in the final seconds of the 4th quarter.

The Patriots forced four turnovers, while New England wide receiver Deion Branch, who recorded 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches, was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player. Because he recorded 10 catches during the previous year’s Super Bowl, he also set the record for the most combined receptions in 2 consecutive Super Bowls (21). Branch was the third offensive player ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors without scoring a touchdown or throwing a touchdown pass. The other 2 players were Joe Namath in Super Bowl III and Fred Biletnikoff in Super Bowl XI.